Created by: Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady
Cast: Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, John Ross Bowie, Melissa Raunch, Wil Wheaton
Synopsis: New comedy areas are mined with not only Leonard being finally in a relationship with Penny, but also with Howard finding a partner in the form of microbiologist Bernadette. This leaves Raj continuously bemoaning his status as remaining single, whilst Sheldon remains delightfully oblivious to the human condition.
Perhaps the smartest decision made this season, a decision which sidesteps the almost cloying “will they/won’t they” that follows two leads in any comedy series, is that the writers threw Leonard and Penny together in a relationship already, and took the opportunity to mine it for all its potential comic gold. In doing so, the relationship also walks the fine line of being humourous without stretching the realm of credibility. The world views the two share do quite often clash, often in amusing ways, but sometimes in the form of explosive arguments, as one could easily imagine happening in such a pairing.
What was a further stretch of the imagination, and yet amazingly did work quite well, was Howard finding himself in a relationship with quite an attractive female. If anything was truly responsible for making this work, it was the performance of Raunch as Bernadette. She portrays the character as both extremely intelligent, and yet exceptionally naive, a combination that gives her a “cute-as-a-button” impression. She is oblivious to the more odious elements of Howard’s personality, yet comic potential is still discovered in finding ways that Howard can still manage to mess up his chances. One of these moments results in one of the greatest cameos in the series thus far, Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff.
However, it is in a Sheldon storyline that the most popular and enduring cameo was introduced to the series. A battle is established between Sheldon and his childhood idol, Wil Wheaton. So popular was this set up, that he continues to make regular guest appearances on the show to this day, performing in the perfect parody of himself. Sheldon as always gets the best moments in the series. It is getting to a point now where he does take over the proceedings from other characters to a degree, but at least this season, the relationship between Raj and Sheldon was more intricately explored, giving his character more to do. Though a great running gag, Raj’s inability to talk to girls does hinder the character at times from taking a greater spotlight. So to pair him with the spotlight of the show, in the sense of them working in the same office and being the two remaining single members of the main cast, helped him shine a little bit more. Raj is increasing in my estimation as a character, and it is good to see him getting some plot lines that he can really take to some interesting places.
Overall, this season is evidence of the show evolving. I shall always love the first two seasons before the formula began to alter, but the changes that have been made have been made for very good reason, giving the show more material to work with so that it can remain the success that it has been up until this point.
4 stars out of 5
Season 3 promo trailer